Can my child quit school if he is working with my family in a family enterprise?

No, the law specifically states the importance of a child’s education and so you should not force your child to quit school. Instead, you should encourage him or her to learn and work at the same time. You should keep in mind:

  • Your child can only work in a family enterprise to help his or her own family and only work for the family.
  • Your child should not be given work during school hours and between 7 pm and 8 am.
  • Your child should not be engaged in tasks which may severely affect his education or homework or extra-curricular activity assigned to him or her.
  • Your child should not be engaged in continuous tasks without rest which would make him or her tired. It is important to provide care and support for the child by providing breaks to refresh his health and mind. That is why the law states that the child should not work continuously for more than 3 hours.

Can parents be punished for allowing their children to work?

The parents or guardians of the children who are working in violation of this law will generally not be punished for allowing their children to work.

However, this immunity does not apply if they make their child (who is under 14 years of age) work for commercial purposes or make their child (between 14 years and 18 years) work in a hazardous occupation or process.

The law does give them a chance to correct their wrong – when they are caught doing this the first time, they can settle it by paying money. However, if they make their child work again in violation of the law, they can be punished with a fine of up to Rs. 10,000.

What other work can a child do other than movies and sports under the child labour law?

Apart from sports and movies a child can work in other jobs such as:

  • Cinema and documentary shows on television, like reality shows, quiz shows, talent shows. A child can also participate in a radio activity.
  • Drama serials.
  • Anchor of a show or event.
  • Other artistic performances which the Central Government will permit in individual cases but these do not include street performances for monetary gains.

Can the government exercise any investigative powers under this law to find out who employs and maintains insanitary latrines, under the law on manual scavenging?

The government can appoint ‘Inspectors’ who have the powers to:

  • Test latrines.
  • Search premises where manual scavenging might be taking place.
  • Examine people found at such places.
  • Ask questions and get information about contractors or people employed as manual scavengers.
  • Seize documents such as copies of registers, records of wages or notices.

Not showing documents or giving information to the inspector when asked can be considered a crime under the general criminal law. The law on criminal procedure in relation to search or seizure under a warrant would apply to searches and seizures conducted by such inspectors.